Magazine article Computers in Libraries

COSLA Finds 39% of Libraries Lack Ebooks

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

COSLA Finds 39% of Libraries Lack Ebooks

Article excerpt

The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) Ebook Task Force reported findings of a nationwide survey that found 39% of libraries in the U.S. do not offer any kind of downloadable media, including ebooks, audiobooks, or videos. In the survey conducted last summer, COSLA asked state library agencies to respond to a questionnaire about the downloadable media offerings of public libraries in their states.

The good news is that the 39% of libraries without downloadable media serve only 16% of the U.S. population served by libraries, so 84% of the population can obtain downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and videos from their public libraries. And 12 states and Washington, D.C., provide downloadable media at 100% of their public libraries.

Jim Scheppke, who chaired COSLA's Ebook Task Force before retiring from his 20-year post as Oregon State Librarian in December 2011, says the survey results are positive. "It's fairly remarkable that in just 5 years we've gone from zero to 84% of the population," he says. …

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